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Sometimes It Feels Like BlackBerry’s Developers Never Used BlackBerry 7…

BlackBerry 10 keyboard

There has been something nagging me since I first started using BlackBerry 10. Sometimes when using BlackBerry 10 it feels like the developers at BlackBerry have never used a legacy BlackBerry 7 device. I just get so frustrated when my old BlackBerry 7 device is more efficient at certain communication tasks than my top of the line OS 10.2 BlackBerry Q10. The epitome of my frustration is best seen in the ridiculous animation blackberry has when you move in the hub between a newer and older email. Even on the Q10 with its keyboard when you hit the N or P button it plays this annoying TAT slide out and slide in animation. WTF? Since when does BlackBerry put eye candy before efficiency? I like where they went with the gesture to go between newer and older emails but even that goes through this annoying animation along with it not working when you hit the end of a conversation. Am I the only one who is frustrated by this partial de-evolution? Can we at least turn it off?

I know that when BlackBerry 10 was being first developed most of the core developers were outsiders from QNX, TAT, etc focused on touchscreens while the main BlackBerry developers were still fleshing out BlackBerry 7 and 7.1. Now that we are well over a year since the end of BlackBerry 7 I have to wonder why we do not see more of BlackBerry 7’s efficiency in the latest OS builds… I brought this up when it came to resizing images before you email them like you can on BlackBerry 7. This would take BlackBerry all of 10 minutes to code since the API for resizing images is already in the OS!

Don’t get me wrong I really think BlackBerry OS 10 is constantly improving but I think they need to bring in some efficiency advocates who are familiar with what BlackBerry 7 users (especially keyboard users) expect. For example, I want to see my keyboard shortcuts back on the Q10 for instantly finding sent mail, unread mail, and more. Better yet I want to be able to hold down the Q button to toggle my notification profiles and the A button to lock my screen. Or how about making selecting multiple emails faster (multitouch?) and deleting them actually happen instantly and sync back to the server instantly? When I reply to an email I should be able to immediately start typing the reply instead of having to scroll down and click on the email body. The list sadly goes on…

BlackBerry is making some great headway especially with OS 10.2.1 but I really hope they have some consumer advocacy going on to get this right ASAP. BlackBerry 10 users should feel more efficient and empowered than they were on BlackBerry 7. When BlackBerry shipped the original OS 10 they at least could say that they delivered the core and the fine tuning would come later. Now in the OS 10.2.1 leaks we are quite a few major release versions in and we are still missing the basics and critical features like Headless apps are still a few months away.

In short my message to BlackBerry is a simple one that I reiterated in my CNN Op-Ed. We love the new functionality you have brought us in BlackBerry 10 but don’t forget about the attention to detail and efficiency that made BlackBerry the top communications platform.

What do you think?

14 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I agree that there is still a lot of work to be done, especially for qwerty devices and that animations should be used where it matters and not get in the way of efficiency.
    For previous/next, they can buffer the views and stack cards per example.

    I really hope, that they’ll add major workflow improvement to 10.2.1, in line with what we’ve seen in 10.2 with the introduction of the new select/copy/paste floating menu.

  2. God bless you! That’s pretty much all I can say.

    We need more Blackberry blog leaders to speak out on same issues instead of trying to glorify OS10 (like certain other blogs) as well as letting users who comment on similar complains just get buried away in forums.

    Honestly, OS7 veterans are not asking for much, just fix the darn e-mail & PIM functionality and then you can put all the eye candy and fanciness you want into other applications. As you spoke about how frustrating it is to reply to an email have to scroll to body to start typing, or waiting through animations in email app, just all came back to me how I felt so comfortable going back to 9900.

    Hey, does Q even work on toggling email name/address? Another pet peeve was not being able to hit backspace to delete e-mail addresses in TO field but having to tap on the tiny X instead, we also could not view contact details while responding to an e-mail by tapping on the contact.

  3. I have to concur, that’s why after playing with z10 for few days I’m sticking with my 9810. I also use a Playbook, and I think the multitasking is better, it’s a real shame as I’m a long time BB user but won’t be moving to BB10 any time soon.

  4. Just try to adding an entry into your calender in BB10… Compared to BB7, it’s just horrible. This is just one of many reasons why I’m now running both a Z10 and an 9900. I’m finding it really hard to give up BB7, and still going between both devices really shows there are 2 totally different development teams (Maybe I should have gone Q10, but I really wanted those docking contacts! you know like on 9900 and on every blackberry bold since the name has started)

    Also, now that BB10.2 will have most of the newer stuff, they need to go back and integrate more of the older BB7 short cuts and just plain better why of doing things in BB7.

    And on a side note, WFT… a Z30 @ $699.00 which runs 2 year old HW? So we lose the best of blackberry OS7, but keep the assh0les that think they can market 2 year old equipment at the same price as other manufactures running state of the art hw.

    Quad core process and 8 core graphics = Android
    64 Bit processing now included in Apple phones

    • The calendar is being worked on as we speak and I think they’re moving in the right direction.

      Regarding the Z30. It’s available from $600 online in quite a few countries, so I’m sure it will reach that price in Canada as well.
      And the hardware is not that old. Some components like the screen or Wifi chip are 12 months old, I give you that, but the mainboard is what you find in a Galaxy S4, minus 2 cores which you don’t really need except for games. Camera and audio components are recent.

  5. I disagree with some of the stuff you are saying. I agree the contacts app is a bit of a mess. And man linked contacts causes so much problems. Makes it pretty much a chore. I unlinked all my contacts to avoid so much issues. Email can also be improved to make it more efficient.

    To be clear, I am a normal consumer. I’m not a power user like most of you guys here.

    But, honestly, the TAT transitions and all that should stay. Ronen, you may not like eye candy and want efficiency, but BB10 needs to look and feel modern as well. BB7 devices were efficient, but they look and feel dated and unappealing. The eye candy is something I really enjoy about BB10 and it is definitely a joy. I concede that perhaps BB can implement an “efficiency mode” where transitions are disabled.

  6. Agree completely. When having a genuine, magnetic holster, how about not just locking the device, but also putting it to vibrate only mode? That was one of the best features of the holster actually.
    And lots of tidbits like those you mention.
    I understand that on a new platform things need to be changed and some features dumped because of different OS design, but what can be obviously done… why offering less in a new OS than those really liked features? And which made BB exceptional.

  7. Hmm interesting.. I’m quite mew to BlackBerry and I actually enjoy all these new “candy” as you put it. Legacy BlackBerry devices were so unpleasant. But I guess BlackBerry had to attract users from other platforms too. BB10 for life! 😀

  8. Re: e-mail- granted there are some issues with Q10 os. There was a mention of multiple deletes. With some e-mail providers/apps, the spam filter works quite well. I would never delete junk e-mails unless I blocked the sender as I do not want any more waste of time e-mails from that sender. Deleting just inspires e-mail sender to morph address. (Often to change to multiple senders…). Of note is that the 10 version app does not allow the typical junk processing features seen on the laptop version. This is essential to drastically reduce crap in the inbox. Fortunately the Windows Live does not allow any predefined junk mail on the Q10. It doesn’t show up. Their sale of e-mail data is miniscule vs GMAIL, Yahoo, or Outlook e-mail apps. What would be ideal would be a garbage-free e-mail provider. Every competent professional would subscribe quickly once the prospect of clean mail became available.
    You had mentioned having to scroll through the message to send a reply. At the bottom of screen, in any view, simply click on respond arrow. It saves a huge amount of time (in WLM for mobile)
    I realize the topic was os 10 deficits. However, the biggest time and security deficit anywhere is the single unavailability of a REAL caller ID/call blocker app that works. Good grief, name ANY cell phone out there that can’t block tele-marketers, losers, or garbage calls. No professional would ever have a phone with no call blocker function. The 7.1 os had True-Caller. There are other quality apps out there for every phone made in the last ten years.. The 10 os is at a significant deficit because of the poverty of thought of MANDATORY apps essential for working people.


  9. You think that’s annoying? How about the picture transitions using the file folder…why can’t it be as efficient as it was on OS 7.1? you want the next image swipe from right to left, last image then swipe from left to right…now, you have to exit the image to find the next one…
    Ok that was the case with the Z10 and Z30, you’d think the Q10 would have the N and P short cuts but no, same ****** mentality as if the keyboard wasn’t even there…

  10. I feel bad not having upgraded to BB10. I bought everything for the Z10 :64gb card, cases, screen protectors etc… But when the z10 came out I realised that so much of what I loved about 7.1 wasn’t in BB10. Im still using my 9810. I was given 2 Z10 wish ive given to my mom and brother. I just can’t seem to give up my torch

  11. I like the eye candy!

  12. Whenever I contact BlackBerry or a developer and ask why an excellent feature from the old operating system is gone, they tell me that the z10 is a totally different platforms and not to compare the two. WHY NOT? If BlackBerry is out to attract more users why alienate the BlackBerry diehards who miss some great features. Why can’t I download Ronen HaLevi’s genius Jewish texts ?

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